|Circle has been cut and Fine Glass Powders added in multiple layers|
|Fired circle and now application of red border element|
|Detail of red border|
|Detail of hand-carved dichroic glass on the surface|
|Dichroic elements around border|
|The circle expands with hundreds of hand cut squares of slightly transparent white glass. "Grout" lines filled with a turquoise transparent and opaque frits.|
|Hand altered dichroic glass cut to fit into the out band of the circle. This white border will eventually be the lip of the vessel if all goes according to design.|
|Final layer of large chunk frit that I ended up making. Very laborious task indeed.|
I was able to get my ring saw working this semester so I've had some additional options for cutting. Up until now I've only been able to cut the glass with a hand-held cutter. That is fine for 3mm thick glass or less but my mandalas end up being up to 1/2" thick at times. Almost impossible to cut something that thick with a hand held cutter. I've done it but usually it didn't work out the way I had intended.
Am finding that a lot of the work I'm doing is experimental for me this time around. New tools, new methods and new ways of combining techniques. I am wondering where all the 'spiritual' work is hiding. It usually makes itself known to me at some point during a mandala creation but this "Road of Trials" was totally in the moment with the materials. I realize that the spirit is within me and comes out through the work I create whether I'm conscious of it or not at the time it's created. But this one I felt pretty far from in that arena.
This particular mandala ended up have 7 different firings in the kiln.
|The finished mandala vessel. The glass is 3/8" thick and the vessel is almost 12" in diameter. I was pretty pleased with the result of the piece. I'd change a few things next time around, mostly within the firing schedules.|
Where creativity comes from has always been a good question and in this book there are various answers, all of which make sense on one level or another. How far we've come from ancient times when there was no divorce between art and craft. A painter was a painter, a sculptor was a sculptor, etc, and the artists were members of a craft guild. A man was a painter, his work was his way of life and was central to his identity and recognized as his means of centering and discovering himself. Today I can call myself a glass artist but there is SO much more to that like being a marketing agent, advertiser, seller, etc and my identity gets spread thin!
Keeping centered as all the other 'jobs' of being an artist come into the forefront is the most difficult aspect of being an artist for me, that and managing time wisely. To stay open to ideas, keeping the quietness of mind in tact is not easy. Introversion helps me and I'll disappear for hours at a time if left to my own devices, just to go inside myself and re-energize. It's quite a balancing act but it all seems to work out in the end.